When handling oocytes, temperature and pH fluctuations should be minimised. Therefore it is recommended to use incubators, heated stages and plates to warm all medium and consumables. We recommend these items should be calibrated to 38.5°C.
Using an appropriately buffered medium will limit pH fluctuations which is why we have designed our entire media suite to have exceptional pH stability due to the combination of buffers that we use. We also have transport maturation media options that can be used without the requirement of gas during in vitro maturation (IVM). Transporting gas cylinders across the country can be logistically challenging so ask us about our alternatives to suit your requirements!
It is also recommended to use consumables that are embryo safe and non-toxic. Bovine embryos are more sensitive than mouse embryos therefore performing Bovine Embryo Assays are recommended instead of Mouse Embryo Assays for testing toxicity of plasticware and mediums used for in vitro production of bovine embryos.
When searching and selecting for cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) they should be selected based on evenly coloured cytoplasms and a complete layer of cumulus cells as a minimum (although sometimes there is no choice based on the quality of COCs/oocytes collected). An important tip is to wash COCs thoroughly in order to remove blood and excess granulosa cells following OPU and before transporting them back to the laboratory in IVM media. Each step of COC/oocyte collection and IVM is critical to setting up successful fertilisation and embryo production, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can maximise your cattle breeding opportunities.